Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In-House Tournament

I receive a text from Mike "Tournament at 7:30pm tonight. Round robin" today. I know what he wants to do and it makes sense. Get us mentally prepared for a tournament. Learn how to deal with tournament time jitters, the speed of a tournament and probably the most important...starting from our feet and getting a takedown.

So the rules are:

  1. Round robin style tournament.

  2. 3 points awarded for a win by submission.

  3. 1 point for a win by points.

  4. No leg locks (because we had a mix of experience levels) or neck cranks (can opener)

  5. Person with the most accumulated points wins the tournament.

I forgot the point system on sweeps, takedowns, etc...

1st match

Young kid, I think still in high school who's a stud at wrestling but very new to bjj. I outweigh him which is a huge advantage but this kid made it to masters in CIF. With wrestlers I feel I have to respect their game regardless of bjj experience. Wrestlers can work the takedown and just build points off of that and holding you down. Match starts and I know all I want to do is pull guard. I pull guard and control his torso and work for an arm bar and finish.

2nd match

Blue belt with great technique and defense. Going in, I know only way I'm going to catch a submission is by a scramble because of his great defense and technique. I work for an arm drag on the far arm and we fall into half guard. From there I'm able to get a takedown from our knees and work to sidemount. With 2 minutes left I know it's going to be a pain to finish so I go to trying to smother him and win by points. I eventually get back and win by points.

3rd match

Strong white belt with a few years of wrestling in high school. I wanted to work the takedown game but new it would be tough due to his wrestling background. From rolling I knew I could get could get the arm bar and wanted to work for the falling back arm bar. We tie up, and I control his left arm and put my right foot in his left hip and fall on my back. I throw my leg over and get the arm bar.

4th match

Big guy, but very new. Probably a month or 2 at most. We start from our knees because Mike doesn't want us slamming into walls. I work for a leg pick and pass guard, eventually to full mount. I control the arms and get an arm triangle from mount.

5th match

White belt that's very strong and athletic. About my size and in the past has given me fits because of his strength and athleticism. In my head, I'm thinking don't let this match go too long because you'll wear yourself out for your later matches. With that in mind I know getting a takedown will be a lot of work (not to mention the amount of effort to control him and work for a submission) and he's seen me go to the arm bar from standing from my earlier match. With that all in my head I'm thinking...hell, why not try and throw a flying triangle if the opportunity presents itself. So we start and he works for the neck tie and yanks my head while I work for some type of arm drag. We continually lock then break, lock then break. Finally after a break and immediate lock up my opening is there. His right arm goes down and I have control of his left arm. I jump, throwing my left leg up over his shoulder and pull his head with my left hand and fall into my triangle. I couldn't believe I just pulled it off and going into my next tournament I feel relatively confident in going for it.

6th match

An even bigger guy, maybe 220 lbs but not much experience. I look for an arm drag and get to the back, but he turns and I eventually work to get on top in mount. He bucks and I react and take his back. Knowing that I suck at rear naked chokes, I slap one on just hoping he exposes an arm. I eventually get the arm and finish.

7th match

Purple belt that has given me fits. If I win by submission, I win the tournament as he's submitted everybody. He pulls guard and I work to pass. I'm stupid by staying on my knees when trying to pass. He eventually gets full guard and breaks down my posture and gets a triangle.

Overall I thought I did well by taking 2nd. Though I dreaded the idea of this tournament looking back it was a very important lesson that Mike gave us. I'm thankful that Mike's my coach since he's been there and done that. He puts us through the same trials only to make us stronger as competitors. The tournament was good also in that everyone one at least 1 match. One last lesson to take away is that anyone can win at a tournament. You never know how the brackets line up and anyone can get caught.

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